So what are these numbers (40/60) all about?Updated Wednesday March 30, 2016 by Bret Welty.
Simply put, these are shorthand references to the size of the field upon which the division will play. 40/60 is a reference to the smallest ball fields (a forty foot pitching rubber and sixty foot basepaths). Similarly, a 50/70 field is fifty foot pitching and seventy foot bases. A 60/90 field is a regulation (full size) baseball field with pitching at sixty feet and basepaths at ninty feet.
Beyond the size of the field there are some rules differences that are typically applied with bigger fields. Of most importance is the transition to 'live ball' baseball on the 50/70 and 60/90 fields. On the small fields (40/60), baserunners cannot lead off and cannot leave base until the ball crosses the plate. This eliminates the complexity of balks, leadoffs, pickoffs, and stealing for the younger players. At the 50/70 and above levels, we play 'real' baseball rules, in which all of these factors become part of the game. The ability to play 'real' baseball at the 50/70 level separates Cal Ripken from competing national programs that only play 40/60 baseball. The Idaho Falls Babe Ruth/Cal Ripken is proud to offer 50/70 baseball for both our AA and AAA divisions. Of course the Babe Ruth age kids will play on the big fields by (mostly) high school rules as a preparation for high school ball.